According to a record by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 6 people between the ages of 14 and 49 test positive toherpes. This disease is a viral, sexually transmitted disease. A higher population of people carrying herpes are female since the transmission of this disease is easier from male to female.
The herpes disease can be contracted by close contact with a person who has the Herpes Simplex Virus. There are two kinds of this virus;
- Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV -1): acase affecting mainly the mouth region
- Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2): acase affecting the genital region.
From research, most recent cases of genital herpes have been traced to HSV-1 since people who have HSV-1 can easily transmit the virus to the genitals of their partner during oral sex. Of course, genital herpes is still largely transmitted via vaginal or anal sex.
For a first case of genital herpes, the breakout is usually longer and more severe. A lot of painful sores are scattered around the genitals of a patient. After the first case, there will likely be more cases. However, this time the breakouts might be shorter and less severe.
The tricky thing about herpes is that infected people are likely to be with minimal or no symptoms at all. This makes the transmission rate higher, as patients might take the symptoms to be a serious acne problem, skin problem or another sexually transmitted disease.
This further buttresses the need for sexually active individuals to be extremely careful. With or without a symptom, the disease can still be transmitted. What’s more, herpes exposes one to the risk of contracting HIV.
At this moment, there is no cure for herpes. However, some drugs can reduce the span of the breakouts and reduce the chances of you transmitting it sexually. But, once you have this disease, you will always have it. The chances of transmitting it are lower when the symptoms are absent, and also with the use of condoms. However, it is only right to inform your sexual partner about your condition before intercourse.
How Can You Recognise Herpes?
Some obvious symptoms accompany herpes, although sometimes these symptoms might be underlying especially the symptoms for genital herpes. Some of the moreobvious symptoms of herpes include;
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Painful sores around the buttocks and genital region
- Rashes on the skin.
Note that some other STDs share the same symptoms with herpes, so most times, you might need to undergo a proper test to confirm your condition.
When there is a breakout for genital herpes, it will most likely heal naturally. However, this will not prevent occasional breakouts from coming up now and then. There are antiviral medications that can help to heal the sores and reduce your chances of transmitting it. However, the medication is no guarantee that you would not transmit this virus during intercourse.
Herpes can be passed on to a foetus during pregnancy. This can be a fatal condition for the newborn child. Ensure that you inform your doctor about your condition before your child is born, this will enable the doctor to find quick and early treatments for the child.
As stated earlier, this is caused by HSV-1. However, it can also be caused by HSV-2. Most, although not all persons with HSV-1 will get symptoms of oral herpes. This symptom can be a burning sensation around the mouth region, about 2-20 days after being in close contact with a herpes patient. From the sensation, there will be a breakout of sores and blisters around the mouth or in the nose. You can also get sores on the roof of your mouth.
These blisters can be extremely painful, lasting between 7 and 10 days. As they start to heal, they are opened, leaving the skin underneath, red. When they finally heal, the sores can disappear, but the virus will always remain, occasionally re-starting the outbreak in either the same areas or nearby areas.
Sometimes, the breakouts can be triggered by stress, exposure to harsh weather, lack of sleep and hormonal changes in women. One must be extremely careful, as oral herpes can easily be transmitted from kissing, sharing eating utensils, straws and even lip balms.
Are fever blisters and cold sores also oral herpes?
Yes, these two are different names for the same disease. If you notice anyone with a cold sore or fever blister, do well to avoid close contact, sharing of oral materials and kissing this person. Presently, there is no cure for the blisters. You can get some pain-relief medication, or antiviral medications in the case of cold sores to reduce the pain and symptoms. However, there is no present cure. The best action to take is to prevent contracting it.
Are canker sores caused by herpes?
No. Contrary to what you might have been thinking, canker sores are not caused by herpes. Currently, the cause of these sores are unknown. However, some minor injuries in the mouth might trigger the outbreak. Also, the presence of some medical conditions like celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease can also cause canker sores. It is also a possibility that genetics may have a role to play in the development of this sore.
You will likely find Canker sores in the cheek, on the tongue, inside the lips and the gum areas. They have red bases and a white tip. They can be quite painful, staying for two weeks, before finally healing. If the sore persists for more than two weeks, contact a doctor immediately. These sores occur only inside the mouth and not on the external part, so it is not very obvious. However, it can affect your speech and your feeding pattern if it is very large. By using a non-alcoholic mouth wash or saltwater to rinse the mouth, you can ease the pain and speed up the healing process.Luckily, it is non-transmittable.
Contact Dermatitis Vs Herpes
Sometimes, contact dermatitis can be mistaken to be herpes. It is not an STD and does not have specific areas of attack. It simply comes up at any part of the skin that makes contact with an allergic substance (jewellery, cosmetic, detergent, medication). It causes the skin around it to be red, dry, blistered and itchy. The condition is usually not serious; however, the itch makes it very uncomfortable to deal with.
To reduce your predicament, you should avoid scratching the area. This is difficult, but applying cool, wet pressure to it, or anti-itch creams can help you. If the itching is unbearable, see a dermatologist.
Pimple VS Cold Sore
Some pimple breakouts can resemble herpes. Though physically, they might look similar, the pain and itch gotten from pimple is nothing compared to that of herpes. Also, pimples can start up at virtually any part of the body, including the chest and back region, while herpes has some specific areas of appearance. Pimple is as a result of oily skin, bacteria, blocked pores and sometimes hormone, and stress. Herpes, on the other hand, is caused by a virus.
Scabies VS Herpes
The number of scabies cases recorded annually is quite large. Since scabies usually turns out looking like herpes with little itchy bumps and blisters and is also communicable, there might be a little confusion between the two. However, scabies can be contracted from surfaces like beddings and furniture and even clothing that are mite-infested. Also, the rash from scabies appears mainly on the arm and leg region, which is not the case with herpes.
STI Clinic is a reputable std clinic in London. If you are around Harley street, and you are in search of a reliable walk in STD clinic in London, you can contact us by calling for consultation, enquiries or to get treated.